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Rare Ganoderma carnosa found

Rare Ganoderma carnosa found on yew at Mote Park, Maidstone
By Steve Smith

Unlike the other two British native conifers, yew has few fungal associates and only two brackets occur. The rarest of these is Ganoderma carnosa which was found high up on a yew tree in Mote Park, Maidstone in October 2005 by Cliff Hansford. This shiny chestnut coloured bracket grows only on yew and the Mote Park record is only the third known sighting for the county. It has previously been recorded in Beckenham and at Boxley in the 1980s.

Ganoderma carnosa Copyright© 2006 Cliff Hansford
Ganoderma carnosa © Cliff Hansford

A small piece of the bracket from Mote Bark has been sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to be retained in the Herbarium.

The much commoner bracket that can often be seen on yew is chicken of the woods Laetiporus sulphureus This very conspicuous annual bright yellow to orange soft fleshy bracket can occur as early as June or July.
It can remain on the tree till late in the year, by which time it has lost its glory and is a dusty white colour.

Laetiporus sulphureus on yew at Minsterworth, Gloucestershire Copyright© 2006 Tim Hills
Laetiporus sulphureus on yew at Minsterworth, Gloucestershire © Tim Hills

The only other common fungus which occurs on trunks and boughs is Amylostereum laevigatum This forms flat smooth pinky grey areas on boughs which look like patches of paint.

Steve Smith is Manager of Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre

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